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Gang Tackling

“Judgment,” a feature about the juvenile court system starring Elliott Gould and Emilia Crow and filming in L.A., went right to the barrios to cast kids who are on trial in the movie.

“The producers told me they wanted it realistic, so I told them I’d get them gang members,” said casting director Bob Morones (“Platoon,” “Salvador”), an East L.A. gang member in his teens. “They’d looked at professional actors but they simply couldn’t get the way those kids talk or their body language.”

He set up three open call sessions in East L.A., attracting more than 200 teen-agers.

“The interesting kids I’d call back for more tests,” he said. “I figured if they really wanted to do it, they’d keep coming back until we found the dozen or so we needed. I also made sure there was a pact declaring the filming area ‘neutral’ territory.”

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Violence was avoided, he said. “Judgment” turned out to be “all quiet on the Eastern front.”


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